The people featured in this blog post live near me in Nakhon Pathom province, just a dozen kilometers from the city center of Bangkok. They are business owners, professors, chefs, and more. Many of these people I see everyday and are now like family.
Note: “P” in Thailand symbolizes elder or respected one, which is why you will see many of these people have “P” before their name.
P’Wan and P’Nom own a Bummi noodle stand on the side of the busy Phuttamonthon 4 Rd. They open up as the daylight begins to fade and serve students, families, workers and people coming home from the city until the early hours. One bowl for 35 baht – about 1 USD.
Ba’Pin is our house-mom at the Mahidol University residence in the Green Park neighborhood, situated right at the edge of Salaya. “Ba” in Thai means “Auntie.” This special title shows how loved Ba’Pin is by all. We see her almost everyday, and she makes us feel at home right when we arrive from all over the world. She teaches us Thai, helps us cook, and makes us laugh. Studying abroad in Thailand would not be the same without her.
P’Gae and his family own a little restaurant that the international students visit once – if not twice – most days. Here is where you can find your favorite new dishes and get to know the people in one of Bangkok’s coziest neighborhoods.
Ajarn Nat Posrithong is a favorite professor at Mahidol University International College – “Ajarn” meaning teacher, expert, or master in Thai. Her family is from Nakhon Pathom province, and she also went to Mahidol for undergraduate studies. She teaches courses in Social Science – one of which I am in: Gender Studies in the Modern World. Having a teacher from Thai culture has deeply enriched this study abroad experience.
P’A is the resident director here in Bangkok for International Studies Abroad. He has been living in Thailand for over 13 years and now calls this country home. Here he is welcoming us into his beautiful office (filled with books, decorations, and the much-needed air conditioning) in traditional Thai clothes. P’A is a great help for integrating into a new culture – teaching us Thai language and culture over many trips and outings.
P’Joy makes an incredible Som Tam – spicy green papaya salad. She lives in the Green Park neighborhood with her husband and two adorable kids (a boy and girl about ages 8 and 6 years old). Whether or not you are coming to her for food, she will greet you with an amazing smile.
P’Dtai is P’Joy’s husband. He helps out P’Gae with cooking but can also be seen taking the two kids to soccer practice or school. Like P’Joy, he has a warm, welcoming smile and never misses a chance to say, “Sawasdee.”
Kang, Ball, and Tay are muay thai (thai boxing) ajarns at the gym right at the edge of the Green Park neighborhood. This gym was started by a Mahidol student and classes are taught here to teach people about this famous Thai tradition. (If you haven’t seen this style of boxing, look up a video now!)
Ba’Sao is the house-mom of the International Studies Abroad office. Here, she is standing in front of a beautiful display of photos of the Thai Royal Family, kids books on how to be a good Thai, and two Thai swords. She is always a joy when students come into the office!
The world awaits…discover it.